Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Transfer Window - Best & Worst

As the transfer window closed last night (finally!), we’ll take a look back at some of the transfers that have taken place. Now, these are purely based on my personal opinion, so I’m pretty sure that most of you would disagree and I’m also pretty sure I’ll miss quite a few because I’m just stating the transfers that I’ve heard of during this European transfer window. I’ve put a list made up of nothing but some random categories that I’ve come up with, but which I think make sense. For some of the categories there are several options, whereas for some, I could only think of one option. You can help me out if you think of anything else, but here they are…

Best Deal of the summer:
Juan Mata to Chelsea for 27 million Euros. In a world where Andy Carroll is worth 40 million Euros, you know that a player of Mata’s ability is worth much more than that, especially for a Chelsea team with ageing midfielders. Not playing for Barca or Real Madrid in Spain is usually a handicap for Spanish players, but now that Mata’s moved abroad he should get the recognition he deserves.

Clubs that have had the best summer:
I don’t know who to choose between the 3 big sugar daddies of Europe. Manchester City with their ability to buy anyone they want and signing many World Class players this summer; Roma, who now have their own sugar daddy and have signed 11 players who are all capable of forming an entire new starting line-up; or Paris St Germain who signed Javier Pastore for 40 million Euros when Europe’s elite were all after him.

Clubs that have had the worst summer:
North London, just like during the riots a few weeks ago, went through a rough time this summer. Arsenal lost several key players during the summer only to replace them at the last minute of the transfer window. Tottenham on the other hand had all their plans halted because of Luka Modric’s sulking for a move to Chelsea – which never happened.

Most admirable move:
Joe Cole to Lille on loan. A few weeks back I wrote about English players not moving abroad, but I also mentioned that I’m pretty sure that an average English footballer would succeed abroad. Joe Cole has become average nowadays, and he’s joined French Champions Lille. Something tells me he’ll do well there, even though it’s only a loan. Keep an eye out for this one.

Worst move:
Mauro Zarate to Inter Milan on loan from Lazio. If he's not good enough to stay at Lazio (or Birmingham City!), how can he be good enough for Inter? A move that makes no sense at all.

Most boring transfer saga:
Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona. Watching paint dry is more fun. I can’t even be bothered to write about this.

Biggest rip-off:
Jordan Henderson – 25 million Euros to Liverpool from Sunderland. How on earth is he worth that much we’ll never know. Quite a big price tag for a player who has only had 2 good months in his entire Premier League career so far. Has a lot to prove.

Biggest gamble:
Owen Hargreaves to Manchester City on a free. It’s only a one-year contract, and for free, but it seems those Youtube videos (click here) of his worked. I’m wondering his knees will get him through the entire season. A World Class player on his day; but it hasn’t been his day for about 3 years. A gamble worth taking - especially when money and salaries is the least of your concerns.

Worth much more than that:
Raul Meireles to Chelsea from Liverpool for 10 million Euros. I don’t get it. Do Liverpool intentionally sell their best players? Or more specifically their creative central midfielders? Xavi Alonso, Yossi Benayoun, and now Meireles… those are 3 very creative players that have left Merseyside on the cheap over the past few years and I still don’t get why. Expect Meireles to work wonders at Chelsea alongside Mata.

Players that should have left but didn’t:
Luka Modric to absolutely nowhere. 25 million, 35 million and then 40 million fees all rejected by Spurs from Chelsea. A message to the rest of the Football world loud and clear - when a player is under a contract, the club decides when, where and who to sell him to, regardless of the player’s desires. Modric can sulk all he wants. He’s staying at Spurs for now.

Wesley Sneijder to absolutely nowhere. Inter need the money, and Eto’o’s move to Russia helped them on that end. Sneijder could have moved absolutely anywhere he wanted to this summer, and should have, but he decided to stay in Milan. Shame.

Biggest “WTF just happened” transfer:
Samuel Eto’o to Anzhi Makhachkala (or something like that). Money talks. He'll be earning 20.5 million Euros a season. Approximately $500,000 a week. Life is sad.

Best last minute moves:
Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun to Arsenal. Why did it take Arsenal so long to react in the transfer market? Was it the brutal defeat at Old Trafford which caused it? Regardless of those questions, Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun will fit in perfectly in at the Emirates stadium and in particular with Arsenal’s style of play.

Most random move of the summer:
Craig Bellamy to Liverpool for free. No one would have expected this move at the start of the summer. He left Liverpool a few years back with a bang. Literally. Bashing a golf club into the face of his former team-mate John Arne Riise. A chaotic player with bags of talent, he should do well under Kenny Daglish. Not unless he decides to smash someone’s face again.

The “he’s still got it” moves:
Ruud Van Nistelrooy to Malaga, I’m expecting him to finish top scorer in Spain, behind the obvious two. Andrea Pirlo to Juventus on a free, unbelievable player who will give Juve the sort of stability they crave for in the midfield (why didn't anyone else go for him). Miroslav Klose to Lazio on a free. That’s right, he’s not finished yet, and I expect the German to bang them in for fun in Italy, as he always had.


  1. I'm going to comment on what I know best, Liverpools transfer market.

    Henderson came with a hefty price tag, but it's for a long term move, he has a lot of potential and he's started to show what he's capable of, he played a fantastic game against Bolton and had a good game against Arsenal. Same with Andy Carroll, he's been injured and still not 100% fit, but he still gives defenders trouble, he was unlucky not to score against Arsenal. Carroll isn't just there to score goals, but to distract defenders from our other players, like Suarez, he'll be fine and will be worth his price tag.

    Raul Meireles is not Liverpool's best player, he was influential but replaceable. I'm confident Henderson and Steven Gerrard can do what Meireles was capable of, if not better. Meireles is not a physical player and was easily shoved off the ball. He's also been getting injured more and more, got injured at the end of last season and had a little knock in pre-season and then got injured again in the Carling Cup. I'm not too worried about his move to Chelsea, we saw what happened with Torres & Benayoun. Now if Lucas had moved...

    Craig Bellamy moving back to Liverpool might turn out to be one of the most best signings of the summer, we saw what he was capable of at Man City, he could be a very effective super sub, I wouldn't want to be a defender when I have Suarez, Bellamy and Carroll to deal with.

    You forget to mention how Dalglish and Comolli got rid of all of Liverpools deadwood and all of Hodgsons signings. LFC made quite a bit of profit and look to January for them to spend it on a quality player. The new owners were brought in to make LFC a financially stable club and they've accomplished that, decreased our wage bill tremendously, not many clubs can boast this.

  2. Thanks Rachel :)!

    Patrick - How've you been? :)

    There's no doubt that Liverpool's new owners are shrewd businessmen and are looking at the long term future of the club.

    Regarding Henderson, knowing that a player like Mikel Arteta is worth 10 million or Andrea Pirlo is free, cannot be worth 20 million in my opinion. But then again, what are price tags nowadays?
    It's just the whole 'English players are more expensive' thing. Check the article I wrote about that previously.

    As for Bellamy, I'm looking forward to this, because I've always rated him as one of the most underrated players in British football. I expect him, calmness withstanding, to do wonders with Suarez.

  3. The transfer market has become ridiculous, it's true. I still think we made a good decision to sell Meireles for 15 mil, we made a profit off of him (got him for around 8 mil I think), and I don't believe we could have profited from him after this season.

    I also think fans need to realize wages play a huge factor in the long term.

    By the way, you should check out this article, it's a very interesting read:

    "Free-scoring Luis Suarez earns £71,585 a week but a misfiring Fernando Torres nets £210,568."

  4. There is no doubt at all that Henderson price tag is too much,if he's worth 20 mil then i would say that Danny Stur is 30 Mil? no way.
    Mereiles is an excellent buy and and a very valuable player, clearly he got tired of the order and moved to champions league football.
    By no doubt Mata is the best signature.
    As for Torres not scoring and suarez is, let's wait and see how this season will carry on and then we can judge. I am pretty sure that Torres is considered as a heavyweight to any defender when he plays VS suarez, you can ask Man united defenders about this :)

  5. Anthony - This is a very nice article, less is more;)

  6. Hey Joe (like Hendrix would say).

    Meireles is a quality player and I'm sure he'll do really well at Chelsea. Mata was an essential signing for Chelsea. I'm expecting a Fabregas-like influence on the Chelsea midfield.

    As for Torres - we'll see. He's still a World Class striker and Chelsea are still finding their feet.

  7. liverpool had to get rid of at least one midfield player and lucas is now world class henderson and adam are new signings stevie g is there for life and shelvy is the upcoming star and spearing is perfect cover with lfc in his blood so we got rid off another greedy money grabber just glad it happend quickly and didnt drag on and distrubt the squad spirit like the torres saga raul was good but not great

  8. jobeirut your right torres is a heavy weight just check out the videos when he was at his best at liverpool he was trim now hes got a huge ass thats why he cant run or turn defenders as quick and are you on about the same suarez that ripped the man utd defence apart last year mmmmmm

  9. You think you know someone. But mostly you just know what you want to know.